Toxoplasmosis in Pregnancy

When listening to the long list of things that are dangerous to ingest and/or come in contact with during pregnany, one that really caught me off guard was the suggested risk of contact with cat feces.  It was only briefly discussed in class, so I was curious as to why cat feces specifically would be a risk to a pregnant woman.

A google search quickly provided information about an infection called toxoplamosis.  Toxoplasmosis refers to the growth or parasites inside cats, and later left in their feces.  While the effects on an adult are very minimal (either no symptoms at all, or some symptoms resembling the flu), they can have much more serious effects on a fetus.   Just like an adult, a baby may not react to the toxoplasmosis at all.  However, if it does react, it can get very sick and damage can occur in the eyes and brain.

I found this to be an extremely random concern.  It basically says that if a pregnant woman comes in contact with cat feces, they either may or may not contract this infection.  If they DO contract it, they either may or not pass it on to their baby.  If they DO pass it onto their baby, the baby either may or may not have problems.  On the list of things married women need to be concerned about, I would personally place this near the bottom.

While toxoplasmosis may sound scary, I dont think it is anything to lose sleep over.  If you are pregnant and have a cat, make someone else change the litter box.  Pregnancy is hard enough without having to deal with cat poop anyway!

-Eric Harris

http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/women/pregnancy/illness/180.html

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~ by ericharris on September 6, 2009.

3 Responses to “Toxoplasmosis in Pregnancy”

  1. Toxoplasmosis can be infected by human and animal such as cat. it is not only infected by pet’s feces, if pregnant women touch pet’s feces and it is also infected by human’s eye and respiration system. Because adult have strong immunity ability but fetus was lack of developed immunity. the fetus was likely infected Toxoplasmosis and then suffuring the damage of their future bady shape. so I think the pregnant women do them best to avoid contact any animals to protect their fetus.

    • Toxoplasmosis can be infected by human and animal such as cat. it is not only infected by pet’s feces, if pregnant women touch pet’s feces and it is also infected by human’s eye and respiration system. Because adult have strong immunity ability but fetus was lack of developed immunity. the fetus was likely infected Toxoplasmosis and then suffuring the damage of their future bady shape. so I think the pregnant women do them best to avoid contact any animals to protect their fetus.
      Chuanjian Wang

  2. My sister recently became pregnant and my family discussed this the other night. My mother grew up on a farm full of cats, as well as, having cats when she had all of her children. When she was pregnant, the doctor told her because she had already been in contact with animals her entire life she was immune to the disease. Therefore, cats were of no worry to her pregnancy. I researched it and it is true that people who have been infected in the past can develop an immunity and the disease can not be passed to the baby.

    While researching, I also learned that you can get Toxoplasmosis in other ways than just changing the litter box. Those ways include: coming into contact with feces buried by cats in yards and gardens, eating undercooked meat, and handling raw meat improperly.

    Katie Hasiak

    http://www.webmd.com/baby/toxoplasmosis?page=2

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